All your friends are talking about how much weight they’ve lost, while your number on the scale goes up daily? Well, ‘Post Pregnancy Weight Loss’ is one of the highest searched questions on google – so you’re not alone!
There’s more to post-pregnancy weight loss than just hitting the gym and watching what you eat.If you’ve just delivered your bundle of joy and keen on getting back to shape, then make sure you read this first.
How much weight is ok during your pregnancy?
Women with a healthy weight at conception should aim for 11.5-16kg by the end of their pregnancy.Women who are overweight usually need to gain less weight throughout pregnancy as they don’t need to put on the additional fat stores, and women who are underweight at conception often need to aim for a bit more weight gain. This chart is a recommended guide:
How quickly can I shed my post pregnancy weight?
While each body type is different,You should plan to return to your pre-pregnancy weight by 6 to 12 months after delivery. Most women lose half of their baby weight by 6 weeks after childbirth (postpartum). The rest most often comes off over the next several months. If you’re finding it takes longer than this, don’t give yourself a hard time. Just set yourself a target of getting to the weight you want by your baby’s first birthday. Interestingly, during your pregnancy – Only 3-4 of your extra kilograms are baby weight; the rest of the weight comes from increased blood stores, thickening of the uterus, an increase in breast size, fat stores and fluid.
Does Breastfeeding help lose weight?
Does breastfeeding lead to post-pregnancy weight loss? Sure, for some moms, because it burns up extra calories. Other moms find they don’t lose weight until they’ve stopped breastfeeding their baby. It depends on so many variables, like how many calories you’re eating compared to how many you’re working off. Yes, breastfeeding burns calories, but it’s not a diet. General advice is that breastfeeding moms shouldn’t go on calorie-restricted diets as it’s believed to affect the quality of your breast milk, but make sure you talk to your doctor about what’s right for you.
Are Weight loss plateaus Real?
Another myth you might have heard? How most moms struggle to get rid of their last 10 pounds of baby weight. Unfortunately, just like the freshman 15, there is some truth to that. You can blame a perfect storm of lifestyle changes (who wants to work out when your breasts are sore and swollen, and you’re freaking tired?), decreased metabolism, and shifting hormones. Weeks or months after you’ve shed some of your baby weight, your body’s all of a sudden like, “Uh, NO.” In other words, your metabolism slows when you lose weight. And when the calories you eat begin to match the calories you burn, you may be faced with a weight plateau.
How can I lose weight safely?
It may sound strange, but going on an official “diet” could derail your post-pregnancy weight loss goals. Feeling deprived of your favorite foods while you’re already stressed out by your new role as mom could actually cause you to gain weight. Instead eat healthy:
- Replace the junk in your pantry with healthy options: Apple slices, carrot sticks, and wheat crackers
- Include plenty of fibre-rich foods such as oats, beans, lentils, grains and seeds in your meals.
- Use your freezer! Keep tons of yogurt and have those for dessert instead of ice cream.
- Try keeping your calorie intake below 1800 calories a day, particularly if you are breastfeeding.
Watch what you eat
Top foods for post pregnancy (Here is what The celebrity nutritionist and bestselling author Rujuta Diwekar recommends:)
Goond / Dinka / Edible Gum : The natural gum literally helps you keep it all together, both in your mind and in your body. From nourishing the brain, to helping digestion and even boosting the immune system, it does it all for you. It is even known for its abilities to stroke you back to your sexual vigour (including tightening the vagina), so it is an anti-ageing agent of sorts. Anything that improves sexual vigour is essentially stuff that will help you improve insulin sensitivity, so don’t forget this goond.
How to use it:
- Most popular use is as a goond ladoo — best used in the first month post delivery.
- Soak in water and make a kheer with milk, kesar and sugar to taste — best for the second month of delivery.
- If both these don’t interest you, make yourself a herbal chai with it.
Ajwain / Carom seeds / Ova
Your grandma’s go-to herb for all digestion issues has antifungal and antibacterial properties which help protect both you and your progeny. The disturbed sleep cycle that a baby causes disturbs the stomach too, bringing with it gas and acidity. There is almost nothing that can cure it as instantly and compassionately as ajwain can. The reason why I say compassionately is because, unlike other digestive aids, this one won’t come in the way of nutrient absorption and will help you with excretion of all that’s holding you behind.
How to use it:
- Ajwain ka pani — probably amongst the most popular post-pregnancy drinks in our country.
- Mix ajwain in the dough with which you plan to make your chapatti — ajwain paratha, as it’s often called — or add it to your rice kanji along with ghee.
- Mix it in ghee or sesame oil and apply it to your scalp and stomach; it will help nourish your scalp and skin.
Almonds / Mamara badam
First of all, pick the local badaam, the one you get from Kashmir or Kinnaur, basically from the Indian Himalaya. The tocopherols and the other phytonutrients in the mamra bring the lustre back to your hair and the glow back to your face. Besides, the essential fatty acids help both the bone and muscle density, helping you smoothen out the uneven appearance of fat on the stomach, butt and thighs.
How to use it:
- Soak overnight, peel and eat a few as a morning snack or anytime in the day.
- Use it to make halwas, barfis and ladoos.
- When someone you truly love comes over, chill with them over a cup of kawha made with kesar, cinnamon and almonds.
- Step it up. Try keeping couple of essentials on a separate floor so that you are forced to walk up and down the stairs couple of times in the day.
- Dance is one of the best ways to combine leisure and exercise. Put on some music and groove.
- Walk as much as you can.
- Do Yoga and as many stretching exercises you can do around the house. Here are some yoga poses that are easy and you can try at home.
- Plank Vinyasa : Get down on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders. Place a folded blanket under your wrists if you need support, or lower onto your forearms. To get into Plank position, straighten one leg at a time behind you, balancing on the balls of your feet, abs pulled up and in, and head in line with your spine (i.e., neither straining up nor hanging down). Elongate your spine and press into the balls of your feet. Inhale, then exhale as you draw your right knee in toward your chest, contracting the muscles in your lower belly (shown). Return to Plank position, then switch legs. Alternate knee tucks for 8 to 20 reps.
- Pelvic Tilts: Lie on your back with feet hip-width apart, your arms straight at your sides and palms down. Curl your tailbone under slightly, feeling your spine settle into the floor, which relieves pressure in the low back. Inhale, then exhale as you lift your hips up slowly, tilting your pelvis as you tuck your tailbone under and scoop your lower belly in (shown). Hold for 1 to 2 breaths, then lower to starting position. Repeat for 5 to 10 reps.
- Legs Wide Pose : Lie on your back and lift your legs so your body forms a letter “L.” Lace your hands behind your head as you squeeze your ab muscles. Exhale as you lift your shoulders off the floor. Separate your legs a few inches, reaching one arm forward and between your legs. Contract your lower belly as you reach (shown). Keep your upper body lifted as you bring your legs together and place your hands back behind your head. Switch sides and repeat for 8 to 10 reps.
- Scissors: Lie on your back with your legs and arms straight up above you and reaching to the ceiling. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor, keeping your neck and head relaxed. Move your right arm and leg down at the same time you lift your left arm and leg up, making a scissors motion with both arms and legs. Breathe deeply as you scissor. To modify, place your hands behind your head for neck support, and bend your knees slightly. Repeat for 16 to 20 reps.
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Drink lots of Water
Breastfeeding or not, Drinking enough water is vital for anyone trying to lose weight. Aim to drink atleast 1–2 liters of water per day is a good goal to assist with weight loss and keep hydrated, though some women who are breastfeeding or exercising a lot may need more.
Yes, shedding all your post -pregnancy weight can take long, but if you want to feel light, happy and energetic throughout the process – do it gradually and in the right manner. It takes time, but we promise you’ll get there!